A BRIEF HISTORY
Mobile Foodshare first began in 2001 when we recognized a need to efficiently distribute increasingly large amounts of donated produce. The rapid delivery program uses converted beverage trucks to bring perishable food items such as highly nutritious fruits and vegetables, meats, and bread to people in low income neighborhoods who need it most. Sites are hosted by a Foodshare partner and operated with help from a dedicated corps of volunteers.
We received an overwhelmingly positive response from site coordinators and the community members being served. The program grew quickly, expanding from one truck to two in 5 short years – one of the trucks even has refrigerated compartments allowing us to provide dietary staples like meat, yogurts, and other dairy items.
Last year, Foodshare distributed more than 4 million pounds of perishable food, primarily produce, through 1,367 distributions hosted by 62 Mobile Foodshare sites operating on an every-other-week rotation. Overall attendance increased by nearly 18%, with an average of 130 attendees each receiving 21 pounds of assistance per distribution. The high-water mark was reached on Friday, August 24, 2012 when 1,333 attendees were served at six Mobile Foodshare sites visited by our two vehicles – at St. Augustine alone, 428 individuals received assistance!
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
The Mobile Foodshare program provides easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables for both individuals and families in need. While “need” is generally defined as having a gross annual income at or below 235% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), registration is not required for the majority of sites. The occasional exception includes sites that are located in census tracts indicating the majority of residents do not meet this definition of “need.” In these instances, the host organization conducts an annual “Snapshot Screening” to determine eligibility.
Do you know of an organization in an underserved neighborhood, with the resources – space and volunteers – to host a Mobile Foodshare site? Help us grow this successful program by contacting George Lombardo at 860-286-9999.